Crime Stoppers tip center in Canada to help solve Seminole Heights murders

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Crime Stoppers tip center at a secret location in Canada could help crack the unsolved Seminole Heights killings case hundreds of miles away.

“That one piece of information could be that one lead that detectives need to solve that case,” said Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay coordinator Kelly McLaren.

Since last Friday, 260 tips have poured in via phone, website and the Crime Stoppers mobile app.

“When these calls come into our operators, they do not see a phone number.  They do not see an IP address,” McLaren said.

All the information is scrambled to keep tipsters anonymous.

Workers in Canada pass on tips to McLaren, who hands them over to Tampa homicide detectives.

“The two things that are hurdles for law enforcement and the citizens is fear and apathy,” she said.

We talked to several Seminole Heights residents who said they’d hand over any information—if they had it.

“It’s nothing to be scared of, you know?” said resident Michael Fontanez.  “What we do need to be scared of is this man going around, killing other people!”

If a tip leads to an arrest, Crime Stoppers will give away $5,000.  Other agencies have added $30,000 to the Seminole Heights case.

McLaren has high hopes.

“I don’t want to see another victim.  We’ve already had three.  I don’t want to see another one,” she said.

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